What do you like least and most about the novel, My Antonia, by Willa Cather? Explain.What do you like least and most about the novel, My Antonia, by Willa Cather? Explain.

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

What I like the least and the most of Willa Cather's My Antonia, comes from the story itself, and from Cather' writing style.

My immediate impression upon starting the novel was Cather's instinctive grasp of "living" imagery in describing the fields of waving grass on Nebraska's wide-open plains, as if there were "buffaloes" running beneath the surface. Even the colors describing the grass, in hues the speaker connects more closely with the ocean than midwestern flat lands, come alive.

Cather's writing is also direct and simplistic. Instead of writing to impress, she impresses with her writing: simple, straightforward, telling a story rather than "writing a book." The reader hears honesty in her words and finds hers a reputable voice.

Cather's characterizations are accurately portrayed—enough so the reader understands what is at each person's heart. These are the simple people one meets regardless of era or location, and in this case, the pioneers who built up Nebraska from nothing.

If there is anything I did not enjoy, it was with the realties of the time: women who were "foreign-born" were considered socially unequal, but Jim (the narrator) makes it clear to the reader that these foreign-born girls (Antonia, the three Marys, etc.) would prosper in the end, stronger than the very women for which they originally worked, in an effort to support their own families.